While a majority of the country’s states still have the death penalty, there has been a considerable shift in these numbers over the last decade. Before 2007, a dozen states banned capital punishment; between 2007 and 2013, six states banned it.
The six states to ban it since 2007 — New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland — represent a fairly massive shift in this country. As many states banned the practice over that single seven-year period as had outlawed it during the half-century preceding it. (New Hamsphire came very close to becoming the 19th state to ban the death penalty earlier this month, but as had happened before, the repeal fell short.)